Basque Gov launches marine renewables research platform

Basque Government has officially opened bimep marine platform for research, development, and operation of marine energy converters near the coastal town of Armintza, Spain.

With a power generating capacity of 20 MW, bimep is a research infrastructure dedicated for demonstrating the technical and economic viability of marine energy converters prior to their large-scale commercialisation.

The open sea area off the coastal town of Armintza extends over 5.2 km².

At its nearest point to land, the platform is 1.700 metres distant from the coast and has a water depth of 50 metres, progressively increasing to 90 metres.

The area, delimited by 7 marker buoys restricting access to sea traffic, is also equipped with a buoy for weather and wave conditions monitoring, as well as 4 subsea power cables of 5 MW and 13 kV each, that will serve to transmit power and connect the different devices to the new onshore substation that will feed the electricity into the grid.

According to Ente Vasco de la Energía (EVE), Basque energy agency, the main function of bimep is not to generate power but to serve as test, research, and development ground for new marine energy production technologies.

The subsea cables will transmit a comprehensive set of data and parameters on the devices being tested in real sea conditions to the bimep offices in Armintza.

EVE has a 92% share in the bimep management company, while the remaining 8% belongs to IDAE, the Energy Agency of the Spanish Ministry for Industry and Tourism.

Bimep investment costs have totalled to €22 million.

The opening ceremony was presided over by Iñigo Urkullu, the Premier of the Basque Country, and Javier Zarraonandia, Vice-Minister of Economic Development and Competitiveness and President of bimep.

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Image: EVE